tv [untitled] November 28, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm PST
mayor, 's about how we plan and exercise over and over again. and that is very important. we need to continue to plan right down to the local, local level. i think the one area that has not been talked about as much as a really the private sector. the private sector to play an incredible role with resources in our community. we're starting out working close with them in san mateo county. businesses do not necessarily know the boundaries, like government does. so we need to bring them forward. we're working with our south county with the national disaster resiliency center at moffett field. we're working with the government sector so that they are all in together and they're not isolated. they bring a lot to the table. it is critical that we continue that regional collaboration, as well as our public sector partners. because they really do add a lot. >> we have all seen the result of some of the disasters that
we have had in the bay area. when there was the fire we had in the san francisco marina or the freeway collapses around the bay area, but i wonder what the best way is to reach the average citizen -- hear i am, and to warn us about potential disasters, because we talk about it, we have meetings. people get together, and pretty soon you have forgotten that the marina was burning or that the freeway is down. and at the citizens of various counties and countries to be aware of the fact that these things do happen and that then a -- that they should have some way of preparing just in case on an individual basis. >> that is a lead-in to the october 20 -- it will be the 20th anniversary of the firestorm in oakland, and we're going to be doing three evans.
we're going to be having a major safety preparedness fair. i think all of our cities have done a pretty good job. i like the 72-hour website san francisco has. it is very simply, easy to use. oakland is known for our neighborhood based training. we do it in 5 dedrick languages, our basic fre we do it in five t languages. we are organizing our neighbors block-by-block, particularly in areas that are likely to be isolated like oakland hil askine able to take care of themselves for 72 hours is something we're all doing right now, and we are trying to develop as many multilingual ways of doing that. i know that both ed and i have
about 120 languages spoken in our cities. i have the windup radios in all of my cars and my closet, and i have water. i usually have flat shoes in my car in case of a disaster. if we can get every day area presented about what they can do to survive for 72 hours, that would be critical if you do not know and want to see some things come and join us on october 20. >> i think we all learned a valuable lesson after katrina. i know we did in our county. from then on, we have had a disaster preparedness and day every year. we draw in dozens of people on that day. we talked to people about, you know, i will use san bruno as an example, we had all the resources you could want or need that evening, but there's no major -- no other major incident happening. if we have a major earthquake,
that will not be the only thing happening. we face of a two hours, but we are actually pushing people to be self-sufficient for even a week. they need to have supplies in their house. the other thing we learned from san bruno and what we have been teaching people is when the disaster happened, people needed to call relatives outside of the area. they also realize that -- maybe they did or maybe they did not listen, but they had to have all their papers in some place other than their home should there be a disaster. and a lot of people struggled after the fire because they have lost everything, including their insurance papers and all their other important papers. we tried to tell people, you are going to be responsible for yourself for the most part until the public safety people can come to you, and i can be a very long time. i think we really learn from some of the dusters that were not necessarily in our area, or other areas, but each and every person needs to be trained. we have the him -- we have the
neighborhood emergency training programs and others, and they have done a tremendous job. but you cannot stop training, because you do not know when it is going to happen. >> captain stowe, we know that on a daily basis you're pulling people out of the water or rescuing people out of the big, sinking boats and so forth. do you have a regular schedule kind of prepared this practice session for various disasters in the bay area? >> absolutely. you know, there's a full range of contingency plans that we have developed and that they are practiced. they are practiced with the state and local communities. they are practiced with the private sector as well. all of our facilities have received ships required to practice and participate. it is on going on a regular basis. it is just a very complex set of plans that do need to be exercised on a regular basis so that we are ready to execute on
them. oil spills and search and rescue, security, to name a few of the subject areas that we practice. >> from a security standpoint, and do you have responsibility for checking ships coming in and out of the bay? >> we do, and the coast guard has a system where ships are given -- have to give 96-hour notice of a rival for coming into the bay. all ships are screened in advance of arrival. the restraint for carter, last ports of call, and crewmembers. ships with a higher security risk are boarded that sea. if we were to encounter a security incident, those are in place every single day. >> on a financial note, most cities have been effected recently with the downturn in
the economy, and i wonder how that affects your ability to deal with problems when you have a smaller police force, smaller sheriff's office, and so forth. it has to be taken into consideration. cities are getting bigger. many times the helpful units we have become accustomed to have been cut either by budget or by personnel. >> i think we can all speak to that one. one thing we have done in our county, many of our cities are struggling, especially with public safety. our share of its department has shared services. we're now operating san carlos, half moon ba. y we're sharing services so we can take -- so we can continue across the board. so far, it has done very well. we're counting with 20 cities.
as it relates to public safety, we have taken evidence to the fact we do not need to have, you know, 20 separate departments. we can consolidate and share services. >> what about the city of san francisco, mayor lee? >> and those resources are dwindling and we have had to be creative. one area that we have been very creative in in the public- private partnership is getting private funds, helping to supplement our education programs in schools and never had associations. that has been extremely important for us. we do have corporate sponsors that have stepped up. the recognize that not everything can be done with both federal and state and dwindling funds. when it comes to educating our residents, companies like walgreen's and city-wide stores have stepped up and funded educational programs so that they can have to both the tools and resources to educate residents write in their
neighborhoods. i think that has been wonderful, and it has been an expanding program. those neighborhood programs will be extremely important to help connect up when the big disasters happen. >> i remember in elementary school, since i am just a kid, were the air raid withdrawals from world war ii, and children were taught to duck under their desks. that seems rather antiquated at this time. but our their drills and helpful hints for the children and for the teachers, just in case something happens, so they are informed and know exactly what to do in case of an emergency? >> most of our school districts have disaster plans intact. i was on the oakland school board when it loma prieta happened, and we actually, i think, developed the plan -- if you go to fema and download their school plan, i and other
people wrote the original plant that fema adopted. it goes back to what you raised earlier, what are we going to do? the reality is that schools, because they are standard, will be the gathering planes after the major disasters. so the partnership with schools have to be very good because we may move in with them for a long time in some neighborhoods. after the firestorm, oakland tech was waiting to get rid of the people who lived there for about six weeks before we could find enough shelter and find out which people were chronically homeless and which were disaster victims. that to el little bit of time and money. but there may not be a difference in a major disaster. i think that the police departments had to work closely with the community, and we have been trying to organize neighborhood of large groups.
it is exactly what you do when getting ready for a disaster tech. we have been looking at doing cross-training. if you have a group that comes together, and never had a large, it is also the center you will probably get together to be prepared to be self-sufficient for 72 hours. one of the things i learned when i was in japan, i was there when it katrina hit, and was trying to learn from the japanese experience. one of the things that really hit me that i will always remember is that they said that you are not just saving lives for a moment, you're saving the culture of your city. i asked everybody, what would you do differently than what you did then, and they said we would not have separated out the seniors. we thought we should take care of the seniors first. we took all the seniors and put them in some location, facility, but they did not do well because they got separated from their families and communities.
and the same thing could happen, particularly in the bay area when we lose our low-income housing. can you imagine a san francisco without chinatown? chinatown burned down in 1906 and the committee rebuilt it. i cannot imagine oakland without west oakland, and that area is a very vulnerable. i am inc. in my plans, how do i save the community, too? how do we relocate people together, and how do we get businesses quickly in so that they survive? >> one of the things that i would like to ask the panel, and we all have our own private concerns and fears, each one of you could tell me, tell us, what's your biggest fear is in terms of disaster, a terrorist attack, fire? redstart down at the end.
>> i think everybody's fear as an individual is that you will be isolated from everybody else. you do not know when the services are going to come. my fear is, there may not be enough people taking it as seriously as others to be self- sufficient during this time, that may have not worked with neighbors, that may not know that there seniors in homes isolated in the hills and down the block from you. so i really worry that we do not perhaps have enough people take it as seriously as some do, and there will be neighborhoods that do not know what to do, and there will be seriously injured people that will not get the assistance that they need. >> captain cynthia stowe? >> my largest concern is in the area of communications and our ability post-earthquake. our communications are ground- based for the most part. if we lose our ability communicate, our ability to court and it becomes limited. so being able to communicate and
understand what is happening in each of the counties and cities post-disaster is vital. it is a piece of technology. >> my fear is that we know what we can do to prevent major loss of lives in a case of an earthquake, and we're not doing putting their resources into doing it. my fear at we have not a one-fault disaster, but we have a two-fault disaster, so that brought the east and west side of the they are in trouble and we will not have enough resources. >> i think that for the known disasters that we expect, if we let go in any kind of period of time let go of restructuring and rebuilding, we will have problems.
we have to continue a high level of investment in our infrastructure, whether it is our hospitals, libraries, roads, and communications. all of that has to be invested in, as well as the ones we know of, vulnerable buildings. we have to keep investing in those. we cannot let those go. that will be as important as we build these relationships and communications to prevent more loss of lives. >> taking a more positive look, what is it that would be number one on your list in terms of helping the city prepare for any disaster of any of the type that we have been talking about? your wish list, in other words. >> i want to take advantage of this event right here by doing a lot more practice sessions with the various divisions of our military, so we can really get in the practice of working out logistics between civilian and military divisions.
i think once our neighbor is realize the level in which we are paying attention to the exchange of both federal levels and the local levels of help, they're going to have that much more common -- confidence that we're more ready than we were yesterday. >> mayor qu questionan mark >> if i could get a wish list right now, other than retrofitting the software, i would like to make sure that all the critical government buildings that are going to be needed for rebuilding are structurally sound. i will not tease ed potential headquarters, that those buildings be retrofitted to the highest standards, that their operational the day after it a disaster. >> on the top of my wish list is a resilient port. we literally have three to five days worth of goods on ourselves and our stores and our hardware
stores, gas stations will be dry. and our ability to bring in supplies is of critical importance. having facilities that can receive those supplies, getting the goods on the shelves. >> and i guess i would go back to the average citizen. my wish is that each and every citizen or resident in our community will be prepared to be on their own for weeks. and i want to move faster on at the communication between our surrounding regions so we can talk to one another in the case of a major disaster and have different ways to communicate with each other. >> major league, you touched on something i want to ask you about. it seems to me that it has not been a policy in general, no one's fault, that the group of mares and people in influential positions have not been getting together and looking at the bay
area for what is it, which is a homogenous group of cities together. in other words, vallejo is doing something, oakland is doing something, san francisco is doing something, san jose is doing so the, and the coast guard is doing something. i would like all of you contribute to this, what is that the group can be together to say, ok, this has happened, we know what we're going to do in the event that that kind of potential problem occurs. >> i think that that is why we began with the whole topic about communications, as was mentioned. that was already a good standard that we formed. when we joined the joint powers authority that represented seven counties and three major cities, we began the process of working and getting used to each other's jurisdictional issues. we have to have much more of an enlightened and break out, if
you will, of those priorities and have a lot more conversations, not only between the denver police department, but to many different emergency coordinators, but also the highest levels, the mayor and the counties of about zero levels, where we can expect what we can do to help each other. i think we have a good start in the bay area with interoperability coordination that we have. but we have got to go beyond that topic. >> captain stowe, did the military groups, all the people involved in the military, are the working together in terms of a simple problem, civil disaster? are they organized, your group, talking to somebody in the army, etc.? has that happened? >> we have done terrorism
exercises with the military, and we have even done them involving three or more cities on this particular incident on a particular day. it is still at the beginning. but when we were all out there, we were thinking, we should be doing this for earthquakes, using the same kind of model and the same operation. because that is as likely to happen as the other incident. the other thing i was going to say is that, particularly on the east bay, we have been practicing backing each other on wildfires, because we have a comment backbone of regional parks and fires. and the very sad case, our police chief will tell you that when we had the murder of the four police officers, we had officers from all over the bay area, in -- come in well most of the officers were allowed to go to the funeral operations. it was interesting, in a very sad way, to practice.
but we have tried to be very conscious too well with cher and our wildfire capabilities and send our teams out throughout the state whenever there's a wildfire, and other cities have done the same thing. i think we can do more of that backing up each other in incidence so we're more familiar with our region and our regional facilities and needs. >> we learned a lot from the san bruno incident, where we really need to have a better joint information center where we can share information. so we're working on some of those sharing tools that can be implemented, and we are actually working in san francisco right now and the web-based system so we can share information when a disaster happens. really oes tends to be doing more of the work. as leaders, we can spend more time talking together. we can probably bring them in as well, because they are the experts in the community.
i think you're right. i think we should be doing more on this, more collaborations on this level, but kelso think the department store fantastic job. and they're constantly communicating amongst counties and with the state, federal government, and the military. i do not feel as if we're not doing that. but i think it can be done at a more expert level with those with more expertise than we do. >> captain, the coast guard has always been a major part of the san francisco bay area. is there cooperation between the military and the civilian counterparts at this point? do you feel sufficiently satisfied with the way it currently exists? >> i took command a year ago, and i am completely impressed with the partnerships at play in the san francisco bay area
every day. i mean, between the civil support functions -- there is an exercise next week. we exercise on a regular basis with our maritime and civilian entities and with our county and city officials as well. so it gives me great sense of comfort in the partnerships that have been built throughout the process, and we may be in a unique position because we deal with some any different counties and cities. but those partnerships are in place, and they are quite strong. >> when the coast guard is out on the day, as you always are, and you are rescuing -- i think you casually mentioned that we rescue at least 100 people a year. is that right? from the various sinking boats and boats on fire and a combination of those things.
do you have the budget to continue doing this kind of work? you are smiling. i do not know why that is. >> smiling at my boss. i think the federal government is in the same position as the state and local governments. we are constrained with our resources, and we are challenged to do more with less. that is just the way it is. through our partnerships, you know, understanding each other's resources and how we can all come together and work together, i think, is key to managing ourselves during these times when our budgets are limited. i would do it in a different. >> are there budget considerations for each one of the city's right now that might defect preparedness and safety? >> mayor lee? you are the closest to me. >> can you repeat the question again? >> he did not hear the question because of buzzing. >> are there budget
considerations right now that the fact a city's ability to deal with the problems? >> well, of course. i think it was mentioned earlier that all of us are facing some very big challenges in our public safety budgets, and part of it is the realignment that is going on in the state. the other part is the lack of grants for many years. i know oakland received great news recently, but there are many other jurisdictions that do not get those grants to train a new public safety officers. very soon with a lot of our longtime employees retiring in the police department. so we have a lot of challenges in the public safety budgets. that means, of course, that we have to be more economically resilience in our own local budgets to match.
and at the same time, potentially find, at least in disaster preparedness, and the ability to kind of work together on a regional basis to land the kind of grants that would help us, just like we did with communications. i think there are a lot of more areas that perhaps, even in our relationship-building with the military, we can jointly asked for some help and propose connections with our various military partners to do that. because i know that the current federal administration, i think has an extremely high sensitivity for more coordinated activities in this regard, especially in light of the disaster responses that had to occur on a national scale with the hurricanes and the flooding that occurred on the east and midwest. i think we can work on that and prepare ourselves, i think, to the other on a regional basis to get more of the attention, if
you will, and priorities for federal help. >> this is a question for all of you. do you think that the media, television, radio, has been helpful in preparing people for a potential disaster? and reporting it correctly when there have been problems? >> i think the media has been great on this in general education, particularly in the month of october because it is when both the earthquake and the fire storm happens in the bay area. i guess what i would like to see is that for to be more ongoing and in smaller bites. i know in the city of oakland, i do an e-newsletter, and every time there is a disaster summer else in the world, we asked people if they have their 72 hours worth of supplies. the bay area is a multi-ethnic
and a multi-lingual, and writing may be the military in the city to work together on making sure that the languages are available in the case of disaster and in training. the military has capacity of people who speak many different languages. or us to do more and more joint training. and we're all facing, at least on that the city side, retiring police officers. perm errors are retiring. i am going out for special tax measure, which half of the money would go to academies and recruitment. i have budget money for officers, but not for all the extra trainings. oakland police officers trying for nearly a year. i am looking, wondering how many -- we already have a lot of retired military people. i wonder how many joint kind of
training activities we could use that would prepare staff for all kinds of occupations crossed the line, military and police, that might eventually help us all save money as we're looking at the boomers retiring in big numbers of the next five years. >> i think the media does a great job -- >> i think we should wait just a moment while the navy practices they're flying. >> i think the media does a tremendous job reporting the disasters and with follow-up after. the part that i think is missing that would be really helpful is that their reporting these disasters and continuing day after day, they also everyday remind people about what they need to do to make themselves prepared. i mean, i think sometimes people get scared because they keep hearing about the disasters and all the different things that go on. we have been talking about san